Gender and Childhood

CRN 28887 / We 2:30PM - 5:00PM / 402E Cathedral of Learning
This seminar investigates the convergences and divergences of feminist, queer, and trans childhood studies across the humanities and social sciences via a central question: what kind of cultural and biological form is a child? We will define “childhood” capaciously, including infancy and adolescence, while also considering forms of infantilization at all ages. The course will begin by reconsidering the unusual relationship between gender oppression and childhood in 1970s feminist writing. To complicate that foundation, we will also consider the racialization of childhood as its unthought ground. We will then examine a range of methodological approaches to thinking about children and childhood broadly, and girlhood and boyhood specifically, including history, literature, sociology, education, and anthropology. One focal area of the course will be transgender children and transgender childhood. We will also work to provincialize the Anglo-American narrative of “modern” childhood by reading global and transnational scholarship in childhood studies. The writing in this seminar will ask students to rethink the place of the child in their home discipline and their own scholarship, and final papers may be on a topic from students’ home disciplines.

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Julian Gill-Peterson

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Course Category

Category B: Disciplines and Intellectual Movements

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